Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats


ALEXANDER VON  HUMBOLBT.                  85
CHAPTER VI.
IIETTJBN   AND   NEW ACTIVITY  AT   HOME'—ASCENSION  OE  MOUNT VESU-
VIUS IN1 1805----BBMGIN—VIEWS OF NATURE----THE GREAT UTEKABT
WOEK  ON HIS  TRAVELS IN  AMERICA—DECLINING-  OF  A PBtrSSIAST
OFFICIAL I»OST----NEW   PLANS—DESTKUCTIQN    OF    OABACCAS—BON-
PATE—HUMBOUDT'S STUDIES IN BABIS.
WHEN" Alexander von Humboldt started on his great.
journey, his brother William lived in Paris with his
family, and we have already stated that Alexander's
letters from Spain had induced his brother to visit
this country. But during Alexander's absence much
had been changed in his brother's position, for William
had been appointed Prussian chamberlain and privy-
councillor of legation, and resident minister at the
Papal court in 1802, and therefore resided at Rome.
His wife, whose health had become very delicate, had
gone to Weimar on a visit, ixf 1804, and went thence
to Paris, as she still hoped for the return of her
brother-in-law Alexander, in spite of unfavourable re-
ports. On the 28th March in this year, a letter from
Havanna had been received in Rome by William von
Humboldt, in which Alexander announced his speedy
return to Europe, But very soon after, a report had
been spread that he had fallen a victim to the yellow
fever shortly before his debarkation, and this report,
though unconfirmedj spread grief and great excite-*
mcmt in his brother's family in Rome.
But what must have been the delight and surprise
of the suffering Madame von Humboldt when, during